The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) survey of women’s experiences of maternity services in 2010 provides a comprehensive overview of maternity services provided by NHS Trusts in England. This report shows the results and demonstrates how each trust scored on a number of questions in the survey, compared with national average results.
City Hospitals Sunderland (CHS) identified 252 women who gave birth during the selected time frame. The trust received 141 returns which represents a very good 58% return rate. Women were asked questions on all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they saw a clinician, to care provided at home in the weeks following the birth of their baby.
Key findings from the survey include:
- A choice of location for the birth was offered to 76% of women.
- 59% of mothers were offered a home birth.
- 96% had a dating scan.
- 76 % of women felt they were involved in decisions about their care.
Labour and Birth
- 81% of women ‘definitely’ had confidence and trust in the staff caring for them during labour and birth.
- 73% of women said they ‘definitely’ got the pain relief they wanted.
- 35% gave birth lying down and a further 32% were supported with stirrups. (This contradicts NICE guidance, which discourages using these positions unless clinically necessary)
- 11% of women said they were left alone by staff during labour or shortly after the birth at a time when it worried them.
- 75% of woman said they were always treated with kindness and understanding
- 52% waited up to 20 minutes for stitches if they had an episiotomy (cut) or tear
Post natal care
- 82% of women reported that they were ‘always or ‘generally’ given consistent advice by midwives about feeding their baby
- 60% of women said they had received help and advice about feeding their baby in the six weeks after the birth.
Full findings can be found on the CQC website:
The findings of the national maternity services survey show that mothers (and their partners) rate highly the quality of care provided by CHS. The positive experience of women extends across the three stages of care, namely antenatal care, labour and birth and postnatal care.
City Hospitals performed very well compared with peers. Of the 19 questions which were compared nationally, CHS had ten green ratings (representing the top 20% of Trusts), seven amber ratings (representing 60% of Trusts), and two red scores (representing 20% of Trusts with the lowest scores). In fact the Trust achieved the highest number of green ratings in our region.
The red scores relate to mothers being offered a home birth and the time mothers waited for stitches following an episiotomy or tear. Both of these issues will be addressed by the Obstetric directorate.
Additional comments received include:
“I would just like to say I had the best midwives during the pregnancy and while I was in labour. They made the whole experience magical and very comfortable and unforgettable; they deserve a big thank you. They were amazing and helped me and my boyfriend more than I could say”
“All my maternity care was excellent. The help and friendliness of staff at the hospital was exceptional”
“The support I received in Sunderland Royal Hospital was second to none. The midwives, consultants and all staff were outstanding. Although I had a previous serious medical condition I at no time felt worried that I wasn’t being cared for by competent staff.”
“Overall care was excellent”